Luang Prabang attracts visitors not only with its pearly frangipani and captivating scent, its large pepper trees and scarlet flowers, but also the bright orange tunics of the monks and resplendent golden temples. 1 day in Luang Prabang is such a good idea to understand the culture, customs and lifestyle of the inhabitants. Here are the best places to spend time on your trip to Laos.

Viewpoint and beautiful landscapes in Luang Prabang, Laos

Viewpoint and beautiful landscapes in Luang Prabang, Laos

Best Time to Travel to Luang Prabang

The climate of Laos has the tropical monsoon and two seasons: From May to October, the rainy season and from November to April, the dry season.

The months of March and April are the hottest and temperatures can reach 38 ° C. The lowest temperatures, usually in December, and around 15 ° C.The average temperature varies between 25 ° C and 30 ° c.

We recommend you spending your 3 days in Luang Prabang in January, February, November, and December to admire the most beautiful scenery of this city.

Read more about the best time to travel to Laos

Getting to Luang Prabang

To prepare the discovery of this ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, you will find below the means of transport that we recommend to get there.

By plane

Luang Prabang International Airport is only 4 km from the city center. You can choose Lao Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia to reach Luang Prabang by plane. You can also travel between Vientiane and Luang Prabang via internal flights of 45 minutes. In addition to daily flights, airlines also additional flights to Laos during the high season from October to April.

By bus

If you want to save money, travelling by bus is the best choice. As bus departures are subject to change, in terms of schedules and points of arrival, first-time travelers must book tickets through the host or local travel agencies. By booking tickets through, the price will include the welcome and transfer to the bus station.

Best Things to Do for 1 Day in Luang Prabang

Visit the historical and religious monuments

Wat Xieng Thong Temple

Wat Xieng Thong Temple, Laos

Wat Xieng Thong Temple, Laos

This place is probably the most beautiful among Luang Prabang temples and one of the highest symbols of Buddhism in Laos. That prevented the temple from being totally spared during the looting of 1887 by the Chinese pirates. You can find it as a building covered with a beautiful mosaic representing the tree of life.

Wat Visoun Temple

This temple was built during the reign of King Visounnarat (or Vixion, 1501-1520) in 1513 (some suggest 1512) and represents the first model, sometimes called Luang Prabang style I, architecture of Lao temples. Wat Visoun is the oldest surviving temple in Luang Prabang.

Traditional arts and ethnology center

The Center of Ethnology and Traditional Arts is a museum located in the center of Luang Prabang, not far from the Darat Market (Darat Market). It is a non-profit association dedicated to the collection, conservation and study of traditional arts and lifestyles of the surrounding ethnic groups.

Its purpose is to promote understanding of the different lifestyles and traditions of various ethnic groups in Laos. This museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:00 to 18:00.

Royal Palace Museum

You can call this museum as “Haw Kham” or “Golden Hall”. It houses a large number of interesting historical objects that tell the story of Laos during royalty. Built in 1904 for King Sisavang Vong, it symbolizes the blend of traditional Lao style and French influence of the colonial era.

Wat Mai Temple

The largest in the city of Luang Prabang Temple is the Wat Mai Temple. A Buddhist monastery built in 1796, located in the historical center of Luang Prabang city. It is very popular thanks to not only its size and impressive lines, but because for years served as Royal Temple and also as a residence official Pra Sangkharat, maximum dignitary of Buddhism Laos.

Wat Wisunarat Temple

Wat Wisunarat could be dated in 1531. During the reign of King Wisunara, it was the oldest temple in Luang Prabang. The history of this temple is complex, as it survived different times of war. Among the highlights of this temple are in its form of stupa and the European-style roof, which is the influence of French architects who rebuilt in the late 1980s.

Old district of Luang Prabang

Lose yourself in this old neighborhood where the local life has not changed for a long time calm and serenity of the old typical houses and temples alive all in lush vegetation.

The whole area is visitable on foot just walk from street to street to discover beautiful temples or beautiful colonial houses.

Join the Ceremony of the Morning Alms of the Monks

This ceremony is otherwise known as “Tak Bat”, or the morning food gathering of Buddhist Lao monks in Luang Prabang. If you want to discover the unique culture of this city, this is an activity not to be missed during your tour in Laos.

In Luang Prabang, this tradition is an early ritual. The monks leave the monasteries early in the morning and walk silently through the streets while locals (and interested tourists) put food gifts in the bowls they carry.

Discover the caves and waterfalls

Pak Ou Cave

Pak Ou Cave

Pak Ou Cave

Located upstream of the Mekong, about thirty kilometers from Luang Prabang, the caves are accessible either by tuk tuk or by boat. Tourists often prefer the river route, which is more comfortable (the road is quite rugged, more than ten kilometers). It is also more attractive (the ride alone is worth the trip).

By boat, allow about an hour and a half to get back to the stream and reach the caves and three quarters of an hour to return to the city on your 1 day in Luang Prabang.

Kuang Si Waterfall

Poetic Kuang Si Waterfall, Laos

Poetic Kuang Si Waterfall, Laos

Located about thirty kilometers from Luang Prabang, the “big” waterfalls are accessible via Tuk Tuk (or minivan) in 45 minutes. The road to Kuang Si is really beautiful.

Enjoy the nightlife of Luang Prabang

Sunset on Mount Phou Si

This site is very busy at this time. You may end up in a place that does not allow you to fully enjoy the view.

Night Market in Luang Prabang

The night market “opens its doors” every day around 17 hours in the city center (opposite the former royal palace). The street is full of vehicles and traders from the hill tribes emerge. There are different clothes, ceramics, bamboo, lamps, blankets, bedspreads, crafts and silk scarves. Sellers often offer higher prices than when buying in stores during the day, so negotiate well (politely) before buying.

Enjoy unique dishes

Khao Poun

This food is rice noodles sprinkled with a coconut milk broth with ground pork or fish. The broth is seasoned with peppers and crushed peanuts. Chopped vegetables, such as bamboo shoots or banana flowers and other herbs such as mint, coriander, soy are added.

Tam Mak Houng

It is a kind of very spicy papaya salad, in which we add pepper, kapi (shrimp paste) or nampou (crab paste), lemon juice and nampa (salted fish sauce). This dish also has another name as the “Lap”.

Sine Savan

This is smoked meat. The dish consists of thin slices of marinated beef then dried that is fried. Cut into chips, it makes delicious appetizers, found everywhere, for example in the taverns at the edge of the Mekong at Thadeua, near Vientiane and in all markets.

Lap
Lap - A specialty of Laos

Lap – A specialty of Laos

The lap is a traditional Laotian salad. This is a kind of tartar made from fish or meat as a rule. The lap is usually very spicy. You can enjoy this dish with white rice or glutinous rice that slightly reduces the spicy aspect of the dish, which will be particularly suitable for Western palates less accustomed to the spicy cuisine of Laos. Do not forget to taste this dish during your tour in Luang Prabang.

Tips for 1 Day in Luang Prabang

  • Do not forget to spend an afternoon doing nothing and have a drink on the terrace at the edge of the Mekong, it’s really top.
  • Luang Prabang is a tourist city, so do not worry – you can find ATMs and money to change everywhere.
  • From the airport there is a “fixed” fare for transfers. Besides, the airport is right next to the city so most hotels even offer free transfer.

Start planning your tailor-made Vietnam tour by contacting one of our specialists…

Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

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